Kerala gold smuggling case: Cong-led UDF targets CM Pinarayi
Kerala gold smuggling case: Congress-led UDF has attacked CM Pinarayi Vijayan amid ongoing probe in Kerala gold smuggling case
As the Central agencies continue to probe a multi-crore gold smuggling case in Kerala, Opposition UDF (United Democratic Front) has intensified its attack on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his ruling CPI(M) party (Communist Party of India (Marxist)). Reportedly, Kerala Congress chief Mullappally Ramachandran and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala attacked the Chief Minister, alleging that he has ties the accused in gold smuggling case.
As per media reports, a voicemail was leaked on an online portal on Wednesday in which Swapna Suresh, the main accused in the gold smuggling case, alleged that some unidentified investigators coerced her to give a statement implicating CM Pinarayi Vijayan in the racket with an inducement of making her an approver in the case. Attacking the CM, Congress leader Mullappally Ramachandran alleged that if a probe in the leaked voicemail of Swapna Suresh turns out unerring, it will lead to Pinarayi.
As soon as the voicemail sparked a controversy in the state, Director General of Police (Jail) Rishiraj Singh ordered an investigation into the incident. Key accused Swapna Suresh continues to remain detained under the COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act) at the Attakulangara Women’s Prison in Thiruvananthapuram.
Meanwhile, the CPI(M) has alleged that the Congress-led UDF and BJP are using the gold smuggling case to target CM Pinarayi Vijayan and the ruling LDF government with the assembly elections drawing closer. In its mouthpiece ‘People’s Democracy’, the CPI(M) has also alleged that the central agencies that are probing the case including the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Customs department and the ED are using it as a way to extend their enquiries into various government schemes and projects.
“The Congress and the BJP have moved explicitly to widen the ambit of their attack on the government. Some of the central agencies have also been enlisted in this nefarious game,” CPI(M) said in its mouthpiece.
The high-profile Kerala gold smuggling case related to a seizure of 30 kg of 24-karat gold worth approximately Rs 15 crore from a diplomatic cargo at the Thiruvananthapuram airport in July 2020. The diplomatic cargo was addressed to an official in the consulate-general of the UAE in the capital city of Kerala.
The controversial case has stung the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left front government in Kerala at a time when political parties are preparing for local body polls next month and assembly elections scheduled to take place in summer 2021. In addition to this, Kerala government is struggling with rising Coronavirus-infected cases in the state.